A mycotoxin-deactivating feed additive counteracts the adverse effects of regular levels of Fusarium mycotoxins in dairy cows

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Abstract

Little is known about the effects of commonly found levels of Fusarium mycotoxins on the performance, metabolism, and immunity of dairy cattle. We investigated the effects of regular contamination levels, meaning contamination levels that can be commonly detected in dairy feeds, of deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FB) in total mixed ration (TMR) on the performance, diet digestibility, milk quality, and plasma liver enzymes in dairy cows. This trial examined 12 lactating Holstein dairy cows using a 3-period × 3-treatment Latin square design. The experimental period was 21 d of mycotoxin exposure followed by 14 d of washout. During treatment periods, cows received one of 3 diets: (1) CTR (control) diet of TMR contaminated with 340.5 µg of DON/kg of dry matter (DM) and 127.9 µg FB/kg of DM; (2) MTX diet of TMR contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins at levels higher than CTR but below US and European Union guidelines (i.e., 733.0 µg of DON/kg of DM and 994.4 µg of FB/kg of DM); or (3) MDP diet, which was MTX diet supplemented with a mycotoxin deactivator product (i.e., 897.3 µg of DON/kg of DM and 1,247.1 µg of FB/kg of DM; Mycofix, 35 g/animal per day). During washout, all animals were fed the same CTR diet. Body weight, body condition score, DM intake, dietary nutrient digestibility, milk production, milk composition and rennet coagulation properties, somatic cell count, blood serum chemistry, hematology, serum immunoglobulin concentrations, and expression of multiple genes in circulating leucocytes were measured. Milk production was significantly greater in the CTR group (37.73 kg/d) than in the MTX (36.39 kg/d) and the MDP (36.55 kg/d) groups. Curd firmness and curd firming time were negatively affected by the MTX diet compared with the other 2 diets. Furthermore, DM and neutral detergent fiber digestibility were lower after the MTX diet than after the CTR diet (67.3 vs. 71.0% and 42.8 vs. 52.3%). The MDP diet had the highest digestibility coefficients for DM (72.4%) and neutral detergent fiber (53.6%) compared with the other 2 diets. The activities of plasma liver transaminases were higher after the MTX diet than after the CTR and MDP diets. Compared with the CTR diet, the MTX diet led to slightly lower expression of genes related to immune and inflammatory functions, indicating that Fusarium mycotoxins had an immunosuppressive effect. Our results indicated that feed contaminated with regular levels of Fusarium mycotoxins adversely affected the performance, milk quality, diet digestibility, metabolic variables, and immunity of dairy cows, and that supplementation with mycotoxin deactivator product counteracted most of these negative effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11314-11331
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume103
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • digestibility
  • milk
  • mycotoxin
  • silage

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